Come rain or shine - huge opportunities for brands this summer

In this Article

97% increase in searches for “wellies”.

22% increase in searches for “backpack”.

8 searches per minute for “hose”.

A time for relaxation and recreation, the summer months are a lucrative time for brands to cash in on consumers looking to take a break from everyday life. And for those not tying their plans to the summer of sport, there are an infinite number of ways to spend the longer days.

To help brands focus their advertising spend this summer, eBay Advertising has pinpointed three shopper trends for marketers to keep an eye on.

Festival weather watch

It should come as no surprise that ‘festival fever’ is set to rocket in the final days before Glastonbury. According to eBay Advertising, searches for “festival” rose by a quarter (26%) in the third week of June last year, compared to the same week in May, with shoppers making almost three searches per minute for “festival” and almost 13 searches per minute for “tent” in that week. And given that most consumers will pick only one or two festivals to go to each year, eBay predicts fresh batches of festival-goers for brands to engage with as the months go by, with similar spikes expected around other major festivals such as Reading and Leeds in August, and Bestival in September.

But brands that keep one eye on the weather forecasts stand to gain the biggest share of the consumer wallet this summer. Searches for “waterproof” and “wellies” shot up by 46% and 97% respectively during the week of Reading and Leeds festivals last year, compared to the beginning of the month, after the Met Office predicted a weekend of washout weather. In fact, searches for “waterproof” rose 99% on the Monday before the festivals from two days before, as flash floods hit the South of England.

Trading beach towels for backpacks

eBay’s data suggests a shift away from the traditional beach holiday, with consumers instead flocking to the great outdoors for a more active break. Shoppers made 22% more searches for “backpack” and 10% more searches for “hiking boots” in the summer months of 2015 than they did in the equivalent period in 2014 – demonstrating that brands should keep an eye on shifts in consumer interests to ensure they are engaging the right audience with the right messages.

And eBay advises brands to steer clear of gender stereotypes when plotting their ad campaigns. While men made more searches than women for practical tools like “torches” and “compasses” – 261% and 203% respectively - women were almost a fifth (19%) more likely to search for “backpack” than their male counterparts in summer 2015.

Garden growers

Almost 28 million searches were made in the Garden and Patio category on ebay.co.uk in the summer months of 2015, including almost eight searches per minute for “hose” and four searches per minute for “lawnmower” – demonstrating the huge opportunity for home and garden brands this summer.

Again, brands that are quick to react to external factors like the weather are best placed to capitalise on surges of spend in this category. For example, searches for “sun lounger” shot up by 71% in the first week of July last year compared to the week before, as temperatures soared to well over 30°C in some parts of the country. Unsurprisingly, the heatwave also triggered a spike in searches for “sunglasses” during this week, up a fifth (20%) from the week before.

Rob Bassett, Advertising Director at eBay in the UK believes that with so many options pulling consumers’ attention in every direction, it can be difficult for brands to know where to focus their advertising efforts in the summer months.

“By monitoring changing trends and tapping into peaks in consumer interest around big events, brands can stay relevant and offer consumers exactly what they want this summer. Most importantly though,
brands must be flexible enough to react to the short but lucrative windows of opportunity created by unpredictable factors such as the weather, to cash in on surges of interest - from BBQs to umbrellas - when they occur.”

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eBay’s data reveals just how much consumer demand is affected by external factors such as key consumer trends, high profile events and the eternal enigma that is the Great British summer weather. Against this backdrop, contextual targeting is key to ensure that brands are reaching people with the most relevant message at the right time. Relying on assumptions such as preference based on gender is a sure fire way of missing the mark when it comes to connecting with your audience.
Pauline Robson, Director, MediaCom